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Carpenter Costin Blog

June Landscape and Pest Update

June has yielded some strange weather, from unbearable powdery mildewhigh temps to downright cold low temps. This drastic change in weather greatly affects your landscapes.

Every time it feels as though we are settling into a weather pattern, Mother Nature throws us a curve ball. After a string of warm weather, we were greeted with high temps that did not hit 60 degrees. Shortly after that, we were presented with temperatures near 90. Certain areas experienced some substantial moisture throughout the month as well. This drastically changing weather not only drove us humans crazy, but it has had an impact on our landscapes in the region as well.

Due to the cooler temps and lack of sunlight, weed growth slowed slightly, which is positive; however, the same conditions that slow weeds can also create an outbreak of disease as temperatures rise again. Certain diseases, like powdery mildew, will thrive in periods of moisture and rising temps.

We’d also like to remind everyone to keep an eye out for ticks, particularly deer tick nymphs, which can be as small as a pen-tip and are often the most common carriers of Lyme disease. Be sure to inspect yourselves, your children, and your pets, especially after any activity in grassy or wooded areas.

If you are experiencing any insect or disease problems because of the weather roller coaster we’ve been on, don’t hesitate to consult with a Certified Arborist.

Guide to New England Pest Management Now Available

Landscape and Tree Care EbookCarpenter Costin put together an eBook to help educate our friends and followers on the tricky subject of pest management.

Now available is a Guide to the Top 5 Pests in New England. This eBook highlights five pests that we need to look out for in our region. Included in the eBook are information, tips, and tactics for dealing with prevalent pests in New England. Learn what do to, how to do it, and when to do it with our new eBook written by the Pros at Carpenter Costin.

Download the eBook for invaluable information on the following pests:

  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Winter Moth
  • Lace Bugs
  • Diplodia Tip Blight

Feel free to contact us with any further questions regarding pest management, or check out our pest management programs.


Treat Your Hemlocks Before It's Too Late

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and Elongate Hemlock Scale infestations are on the rise, treat these pests now while you still can!

Prevent or manage pests on your beautiful hemlocks before it is too late. Late spring and early summer treatments of horticultural oil can help protect your hemlocks from Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) until the fall. Systemic imidacloprid is also an effective treatment when injected in the soil or trunk; however, it may take longer than a topical treatment of horticultural oil.

Elongate Hemlock Scale (EHS), or Fiorinia Scale, is becoming more popular in our region, especially on trees already infected by Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. Unfortunately, HWA treatment tactics are not effective for Elongate Scale prevention and management. One effective treatment for EHS is Dinotefuran, which is similar to imidaclopird, but it effectively treats hemlocks infested with EHS.

The Eastern Hemlock is one of the most popular and beloved trees in the North East. Ensuring their health is vital to the appeal and life of your landscape. To learn more about Hemlock Wooly Adelgid or Elongate Hemlock Scale treatments, consult with a Certified Arborist.

Horticulture Timing of Treatments

Optimal timing for pest and weed management on you trees, shrubs, and lawns.

With the abundance of rain and moisture lately, our plant and lawn health management division has had their hands full with the scheduling and application of treatments. Surprisingly, I had a chance to catch our President, Paul Marsan, for a few brief seconds and get his take on the situation.

While on the subject of insect, disease, and weed control, Paul mentioned, “The time to apply pre-emergent crabgrass control products is when the Forsythia is half yellow and half green. This is commonly known by experienced Lawn Care Pros and knowledgeable homeowners. What is not commonly known, is that the same theory applies to most horticultural treatments and tactics. This widely used principle is known as Phenology.”

Phenology is based on the accumulation of temperature degrees above a control point. The accumulated degrees are known as “Degree Days Heating.” This very important principle dictates to the knowledgeable professional when it is time to apply certain treatments, such as crabgrass preventer, or when it is the best to seed your lawn.

Most important to note is that proper timing is not related to calendar date. For more information on this subject we recommend reading Coincide by Donald A. Orton, or consult with one of our Certified Arborists or Technicians, all whom are very familiar with this practice.

Insect Prevention and Control During Rain Storms

Pest management applications can be extremely time sensitive, regardless of whether or not Mother Nature cooperates. What can you do to ensure proper applications during periods of rain?

The middle of May is prime-time for Winter Moth treatment applications. It is imperative to get out and spray for these pests before they can really damage your beautiful trees and shrubs. Fortunately for those in the Arboriculture business, Winter Moth treatments can be applied in moist weather, unlike many other pest management applications.

Insect prevention and control applications must be completed by a trained professional tree care technician. A well-trained tree professional will use their knowledge and judgment regarding the safety, effectiveness, and environmental impact of pest management applications, especially during periods of rain or heavy moisture. If you have any doubt in the effectiveness or timeliness of your applications please give us a call at 877-308-8733.

For more information regarding tree and shrub pest management, or the application of pest management supplements, feel free to request a consultation with a certified tree care professional.

Winter Moths are Coming

We are all excited that May will be bringing us beautiful flowers; however, May also brings us nasty, unwanted Wintermoths. These larvae (worms) hatch and feed ravenously on leaves beginning mid-May. They feed on leaf clusters and inside buds during the day, and inch their way to the outside of leaves at night. In June they stop feeding and drop down to the ground and bury themselves in the soil until fall.

In October and November adult males emerge to mate. It is common to see them flying around your porch lights in the evening at this time of year. The females, who have no wings, climb up tree trunks and lay eggs in bark crevices for the start next season’s moths.

Treatments of Wintermoths begin in May, and can control the winter moth larvae population, and mitigate the risks to your trees. Wintermoth treatment methods include foliar application and micro injection, available in both biological and traditional controls.

If you have had Wintermoth damage in the past, it is recommended that you speak with an arborist to determine an appropriate Wintermoth insect management strategy. Control these pests in the spring to prevent year-long pest damage to your trees.

Insect and Pest Management Alerts

This year’s weather has brought a healthy infestation of insects and diseases. Here are some of the alarming ones:

Cottony Scale

These insects are closely related to aphids and affect Holly, Euonymus, Yews, and a variety of other trees and shrubs. Scale insects feed by tapping into the plant stem or leaf and withdrawing plant sap. Plants infested with scale will show signs of thinning or yellowing foliage and possibly branch dieback. In severe cases, they can even kill plants.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

These insects only affect Hemlocks. They are an aphid-like insect that shows up in cottony masses and sucks plant sap out of needles and stems. This insect is rapidly spreading throughout the Hemlocks in our area. Plants infested with Adelgid will show similar signs as cottony scale, thinning, yellowing, and dieback.

Diplodia Tip Blight vs. Needlecast Disease

These diseases both affect Austrian Pines yet in different ways, and require different treatment plans. Diplodia Tip Blight is evidenced by browning, starting at the tips and spreading toward the stem. Needlecast Disease tends to manifest itself as tiny yellow/brown spots on needles and progresses until entire needle becomes brown and falls.

Repeated seasons of stress from these diseases, over several years, can lead to the tree turning brown, entire branches dying, and the tree becoming deformed. If left unchecked, it can eventually kill mature trees.

Call now to have a professional arborist inspect and identify your pests and develop a custom treatment strategy. 877.308.8733.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Decimates Local Trees

Invasive Insects Threaten Hardwood Trees

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect from Asia that is a serious threat to hardwood trees (trees that lose their foliage after growing season) in the United States. These trees include maple, elm, willow, birch, horsechestnut and poplar. During its infant stage, the insect bores into a tree's heartwood and feeds on the nutrients. The tunneling can cause extensive damage, which will eventually kill the tree. The insect is approximately 1 - 1.5 inches in length with antennae as long as the body itself. Although they can fly up to 400 yards, they tend to lay eggs in the same tree they emerged as adults.

The Adult female, active primarily during the summer and early fall, can chew 35 to 90 depressions into the bark of the host tree. One egg is laid at each site, which hatches in 10-15 days. The resulting offspring tunnel into the woody tissue of the tree, where it feeds and continues to develop over the winter. In the spring, the offspring build a hard case to develop in. When summer comes, they chew their way out of the tree leaving perfectly round exit holes of ¼ to ½ inch. They then feed on the leaves and twigs of the tree, before starting the cycle over again.

Getting rid of the beetles is primarily accomplished through detection and removal of the host tree. If you encounter these beetles, you are urged to contact the U.S. Department of Agricultures' (USDA) local Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Director, who can be located at the following website:

In Massachusetts, you can also contact The ALB Program at 508.799.8330 or toll free at (866) 702.9938.Qualified Arborists can provide preventative treatments to non-infested trees through a 3-year program of tree or soil injections. The chemical treatment disperses into the tree and travels into twigs and leaves so infant stage and adult beetles ingest the chemical and die.

To find out more about a preventative 3-year treatment program to protect your properties trees, contact Carpenter Costin at or call (877) 308.8733.

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